The Miracle Substance: Killing Weeds with Vinegar – A Simple Garden Solution
Weeds can be pesky intruders in your gardens and lawns, and can easily damage your outdoor surfaces. Chemical weed killers are effective, but the toxic chemicals may be a health hazard to humans, pets and waterways. Vinegar is an inexpensive, pet-safe and child-safe herbicide that can effectively kill weeds without persisting in the soil or running off into water systems.
Step 1: Proper Weather Conditions for Killing Weeds with Vinegar
To properly kill weeds with vinegar, it needs to stay on the plant for several hours or days. Choose a time when there is no rain in the forecast for several days. Rain will wash the vinegar off the leaves before it can do its job, and irrigation or watering may flush the vinegar away as well. Temperatures should be above 90 degrees, so the plant can wilt away in just a few hours. In cooler temperatures, the vinegar may take a few days before the plant starts to wilt away.
Step 2: Applying Vinegar to Weeds
To effectively kill weeds with vinegar, use a spray bottle or hand sprayer to cover the entire plant with 5 percent vinegar. Make sure to cover both sides of every leaf and to wet the stems as well. Pouring a cup of vinegar around the base of the weed can help kill the root system. Any 5 percent acidity vinegar is suitable for this project, and the odor should not bother most people and dissipate quickly.
Step 3: Reapply Vinegar as Necessary to Weeds
Weeds treated with vinegar should turn brown and start to die after one application. Stubborn weeds, particularly thistles and perennial weeds, may require more than one application to die. If the weeds in still partially green after a week, apply more vinegar. These weeds may require even higher concentrations of vinegar, but vinegar with more than 5 percent acidity is not readily available to the average home gardener. Because vinegar does not persist, weeds that sprout up after the application will require all new vinegar applications.
Step 4: Composting Vinegar-Treated Weeds
Weeds that are treated with vinegar are generally safe to be added to the compost pile in small quantities. This is good news for gardeners that try to use only natural remedies for their garden pests. Most herbicide applications make the weed unfit for composting due to chemical residue, but vinegar treated weeds areeco- friendly and compostable.
Vinegar is a non-selective herbicide and will kill any plant it comes into contact with, including grass and desirable plants. Shield plants you wish to keep to prevent overspray from affecting them. Vinegar will corrode cement over time, so use caution when using it on weeds that are growing up through cracks in driveways and sidewalks. The acity in vinegar can also damage spray applicator, so remember to rinse it out after using.
Vinegar is an extremely effective, pet-safe and environmentally friendly way to kill weeds. Using vinegar instead of toxic herbicides is a great way to maintain your gardens at home without worrying about the safety of your family or the environment. With proper application and a few precautions, it is easy and effective to use vinegar to control invasive weed species in the garden.